Tom Russell & Ramblin' Jack Elliott8pm, TuesdayNovember 13th '07St. James Hall3214 West 10th Avenue
at Trutch St. in Kitsilano
"The greatest living country songwriter is a man named Tom Russell; he's written songs that capture the essence of America, a trait that can only be matched by the country's greatest novelists..." — Rolling Stone, John Swenson
"Tom Russell is an original, a brilliant songwriter with a restless curiosity and an almost violent imagination." — Annie Proulx, Pulitzer Prize winning author: "The Shipping News" & "Brokeback Mountain"
"Russell's work is among the most moving and literary of the past thirty years, an antidote to the recent trajectory of self-absorption in American singer-songwriting . . . his story-songs are unlike any others." — Andrew Marcus, East Bay Express.
Tom Russell was born in Los Angeles and now makes his home on the border in El Paso, Texas. He has recorded eighteen albums of original material and has written such classics as "Navajo Rug", "Gallo del Cielo", "Blue Wing", "Walking on the Moon", "St. Olav's Gate", and "Outbound Plane". Russell's songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark, Doug Sahm, Dave Alvin, Joe Ely, Ian Tyson, Suzy Bogguss, Iris DeMent, Peter Case, k.d. lang, Bob Neuwirth, Sylvia Tyson, Katy Moffatt and many others. Russell's acclaimed tribute to Merle Haggard, "Tulare Dust", co-produced with Dave Alvin, was responsible for creating what came to be known as the "Americana" radio format. Rolling Stone stated: "Russell is one of America's greatest songwriters... as close to a Homeric treatment of American history as we're ever likely to see."
Ramblin' Jack Elliott is a true American original. Born Elliott Charles Adnopoz, the son of a Brooklyn doctor, Jack has since the early 50s personified the footloose, carefree, hitchhiking, sing for your supper troubadour. He is Woody Guthrie's spiritual heir and an early inspiration to two generations of fledgling folkies, including his pal from Greenwich Village days, Bob Dylan. He's a singing cowboy who numbers rodeo stars, range hands, buckaroos, and cowboy poets among his friends and admirers, as well as fellow freethinkers as various as Tom Waits, Robert Duvall, Sam Shepard, and the late Jack Kerouac.
Jack is an airplane pilot, a diesel mechanic, and a salt water sailor. He's rambled to every corner of the United States and most of Europe, and he may just now be coming into his prime. South Coast, his 1996 album on Red House, and his first new studio recording in many years, won a well deserved Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album and has sparked much renewed interest in Jack's recording and performing career. His life is the stuff of legend, a story worthy of the pen of Mark Twain or Jack London.
Jack is quite possibly at the artistic and creative peak of his career. He continues to collect and pass on stories, to hone his repertoire, and to gain new fans. His friend, the great cowboy poet and singer Buck Ramsey perhaps sums it up best when he says, "One of the great things about listening to Jack over the years is to hear how subtly over time he closes in on a song until he owns it, makes it his own so completely that anyone else performs it at his own peril. A good thorough listening will convince most that the vintage Ramblin' Jack Elliott began about the time he hit sixty a few years back. And he seems to have, perhaps more instinctively than consciously, pared his performing repertoire down to the gather he would have carry him into posterity."